Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My First Attempt At Selling

Some artists have a difficult time sending their work out into the world. Either they dont feel that they are good enough or they think that they are so good that they want to keep it all. If your thinking of selling, there is plenty to think about. I was the "im not good enough" type. But one day, on a whim, I thought I would give it a shot.
I thought that it would be fun to see if I could create something that would be accepted in a local gallery. 
What seemed doable to me was folk art. It looked simple and colorful and maybe I could make enough to sell. I approached my niece that was working in one and asked,"whats a big seller here?" She answered," roosters and cows are pretty hot right now." So roosters and cows it was! I glanced around the gallery for current colors and went home to create. At that time, I was living in a 400 square foot basement apartment and it was dark! My first investment was a full spectrum light. Maybe it would scare away some of the spiders that wanted to share my space. But it did help me see. I had one foot of workable counter space and a light. whoo hoo! I began with scrap wood and an old crusty box of acrylics. I wanted to create dimensional art so I tried a wood putty that could be mixed with water. I formed that fat rooster into shape and painted rustic wood red with a cute saying on it. Then a cow and a couple of other pieces that I thought might pass as folk art. I lugged them in a suitcase and they were accepted! OMG I was in a friggin gallery! I though how nice of them to take in this newbie and give her a chance. I had no confidence in my work. I frequently called it "crap."And what do you sold! I was really flabbergasted. I started thinking that maybe this could be done...I was starting to have that very small spark inside. Mind you, it was very deep inside. That small inkling of light that was entering into my darkness. Could I really be an artist? 
Then I got the call."Laurel, I dont know how to tell you this, but your art exploded."Exploded? Huh? "Yes the lady who purchased it watched it burst into pieces and fall off her wall."I had painted the putty before it had fully cured and my art busted and so did my bubble.
Spark gone. The spiders were laughing from the corners of the room, pointing at me and rolling in the web chuckling. Every bit of self doubt that I had rid myself of came back in full force. Truth be told. I was no folk artist. I wouldn't have hung those roosters on my own wall. Those pieces took me so long to make. I though folk art would be fast and easy. Don't get me wrong. Folk art is beautiful. I just didn't feel right for me. 
What I was lacking was the freedom to BE the artist. So after a couple of months of pouting, I approached the gallery with something new..some trees that I painted rustic and fast. They were not accepted.  

                   One of my earlier pieces

It took me a year to ever try anything again.  I moved out of the darkness of the basement and the depression and into beautiful Valle Crucis, NC. I felt that way that you do after a long hard winter and you finally get to open the windows and get in the fresh spring air. Ahhh! That tiny spark had returned. 
Listen for your is in there..sometimes doubts can overpower it. But its there. Trust me. It's there. Listen carefully to your inner positive, voice.

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